Prayer, like anything worthwhile, does not happen in a vacuum. In fact with
me, it often happens while
vacuuming. Or, in this case, while sorting laundry.
On this particular day Im squeezing the cordless phone between my chin and
shoulder while lurching up the stairs with a basketful of laundry. The dog
wriggles past my ankles in a furious race to the top. He always does this, and
he always wins.
Susan answers the phone and quickly we decide whos going to pray first. If
her kids are happily occupied, she goes first. If mine are reasonably quiet, I
Our objective is to share not only family concerns but prayers about people
our families are reaching out to with the gospel. We are committed to
on mission prayer partneringas
part of our evangelistic lifestyleeven though our lives as mothers are
On this day, its my turn to start. No sooner have I said, Dear Lord, when my
two little girls burst into the bedroom. They are arguing about something and
want me to settle the dispute.
Not now! Cant you see Mommys praying??!
They make a hasty retreat. Even the dog follows, anxious to be free of my
With a sigh of defeat, I confide to Susan Im having trouble coping with the
kids today. She laughs, we pray, and somehow I know God will sustain me.
This is the simplicity and the complex mystery of prayer partnering. Susan
and I dont know how wed survive without it.
It started years ago, when we recognized the need for prayer, yet wondered how wed carve
out the time. We live across town from one another, and each of us deals daily
with the happy commotion of balancing a job, raising children and keeping a
household together. We rarely get to pray together in person, so the telephone
is our bridge to partnered prayer, our passport to the eternal.
We have no set pattern. One of us phones the other and after a quick hello,
we start right in with prayer. Time is of the essence, and yet time stands
still as we calibrate our hearts to the heart of God.
Early into our prayer partnering by phone, Susan began praying for her
unsaved co-workers. She also included politicians, praying for them to have
wisdom and for a movement in government toward the concerns of God for our
At first I resisted this, selfishly wanting to keep our prayers focused on
our lives, our familiesmy own familiar territory. However, as Susans
evangelistic nature persisted, I caught the vision. Soon I was including others
in our weekly prayer meetings, asking God to work in the lives of neighbors,
children and teachersall kinds of people who fill my everyday world.
An amazing thing began to happen: As Susan and I began to pray in an
outreach mode, we became more
transparent about our faith around others. I started asking people, sometimes
strangers, about their spiritual backgrounds. I discovered people everywhere
who are longing to tell their story.
If you think about it, half our lifetimes are spent waiting. Try using that
time for eternal purposes. Ive had many impromptu conversations with other
women in the grocery line. Youd be surprised how much you can learn about a
person if you only invite her to tell her story.
So find yourself a prayer partner and get on the phone. Here are six reasons
why you should make that call today:
1. Praying for your neighborhood has the same effect as
switching on a powerful lamp in a lighthouse: Your prayers are a beacon to
those looking for safe harbor. Be prepared to share Christ with your
2. When you pray for the specific needs of those around
you, your own heart will find more room for compassion and outreach. You will
become more sensitive to the opportunities to meet needs and share Christ.
3. Prayer partnering by phone has no geographical limits.
The phone is expedient: It transforms us into one anothers company without
burning gas, hauling around cranky kids or causing unwise use of emotional
4. Prayer goes where we cannot go and does what we cannot
do. Fretting is passiveprayer is proactive. God does work in peoples lives in response to
5. Prayer partnering keeps you accountable and on mission. When you begin a spiritual
dialogue with someone, you have entered into a high and holy occupation. Your
prayer partner will be eager to hear how things are unfolding. Youll be
compelled to reach out to others daily and draw them close to the heart of God.
Your prayer partner is in strategic alliance with you and the Holy Spirit to
see that these individuals are cared for and ultimately ushered into the
6. Prayer takes the negative and turns it into possibility and hope. In
Colossians 4:2, Paul reminds us, Devote
yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. We can anticipate that
people will trust Christ as Savior because we prayed.
I just hope gratitude will be
my reaction the next time my girls barge in on my prayer time. Maybe theyll
learn that a prayer life is not isolated from the dailyness of life, but at the
very heart of it.
Kathy Joy has a writing/speaking business called Everyday Celebrations.
She lives in Littleton, Colorado.
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